US-based biopharmaceutical company Sorrento Therapeutics has acquired the Sofusa lymphatic delivery technology platform from Kimberly-Clark Corporation.

Sorrento intends to use the platform primarily to focus on developing immune checkpoint inhibitors such as anti-PD-1, CTLA4, CD47 antibodies and other immune-oncology (I-O) antibody therapeutics.

The lymphatic delivery technology features nano-structured microneedles that allow access to the lymphatic capillaries located immediately below the epidermis.

Sorrento Therapeutics chief medical officer Jerry Zeldis said: “Delivering higher drug concentrations via the lymphatics could provide more direct and sustained exposure to therapeutic targets known to modulate immune responses.

“We believe this has the potential to result in an improved safety and efficacy profile for checkpoint inhibitors and anti-inflammatory agents.”

“We are impressed with Sofusa’s data and we believe that the Sofusa technology could be a game changer for the delivery of our immunotherapies.”

When evaluated in a Phase I clinical trial, the Sofusa system is said to have accurately altered sumatriptan drug’s pharmacokinetic profile to ensure rapid onset and extended treatment duration for acute treatment of migraine.

Sorrento Therapeutics president and CEO Henry Ji said: “We are impressed with Sofusa’s data, where in preclinical models using immunomodulatory antibodies, the Sofusa system consistently demonstrated significantly higher lymphatic levels compared to other delivery routes while exhibiting equipotent or better therapeutic activity.

“We believe that the Sofusa technology could be a game changer for the delivery of our immunotherapies, including checkpoint inhibitors, biobetter antibodies, and other I-O antibodies.”

University of Texas Health Science Center professor Eva Sevick-Muraca, who carried out a pre-clinical study of the Sofusa device in a mouse model of breast cancer, noted that the technology facilitates pharmacological targeting of lymphatics.

Sevick-Muraca added that the technology could pave the way for new treatment strategies for cancer and chronic and could enable the development of antibody therapeutics with better safety and efficacy for the immunotherapy area.